Potty8287502780_0cc6693b50_mWe have three kids with three very different personalities.  They also took three very different paths to potty training.

Potty Training Your Child in One Day Method

I was never interested in struggling with my child over potty training, so we never started at a young age.  My oldest expressed an interest in going to the potty at 18 months, and he went a few times before he abandoned the entire process and showed no interest for months afterward.

Finally, the month before he turned 3, we were desperate.  He was scheduled to start preschool at 3 and had to be potty trained.  Out of desperation, I bought the book Potty Train Your Child in One Day and bought a potty doll, made the doll Thomas the Train underwear, bought M & M’s, sent my husband away and had a potty training day.

In this method you and your child spend the morning watching potty videos, reading potty books, and training the doll to go potty.  The child takes a nap, and when he wakes up, it’s time to train him to go potty.   You pump him full of liquids and teach him to go.  The entire time you’re creating a fun, party environment for him.  Even though the process can be exhausting for a parent, by the end of the day our son was completely potty trained and had only a handful of accidents after that.

This method is perfect for a parent with one child or someone who is willing to invest a full day for potty training.

Wait Until They Are Old Enough Method

My second child adamantly refused to use the potty, even after she was 3.  Though I knew she should be potty trained, my days were busy with two kids only 17 months apart, so I let it slide.  Finally, when she was 3.5 years old, I insisted she use the bathroom.  She must have been ready because from that day forward, she used the potty and only had a few accidents.

The Bribery Method

My third child was perhaps the most frustrating to train.  Because she had grown up watching her brother and sister go, she expressed interest in using the potty at around 2.  By 2.5 years old, she had turned it into a game.  She would go potty for an entire day with no accidents, and then the next day, she would take pleasure in looking at me, smiling, saying “I’m going potty” and go in her pull up with no attempt to use the bathroom.

We repeated this cycle every day.  One day she went all day, the next day she made no attempt and went in her pull ups (and delighted in frustrating me).  Finally, in early January when she was 2 years and 9 months, I decided to bribe her.  Every time she went potty she would get one Surfs Sweets dye free jelly bean.

Bribery worked like a charm, and within 4 days she was wearing underwear and going every day and even waking us up at night to go.  Since she has been trained, she has only had one accident.  The hard part was weaning her off the jelly beans.

There you have it, three kids, three different potty training methods.  I don’t know which method is best; I think it largely depends on your child and what motivates him.  However, I can’t tell you how excited I am to be done with diapers, though I do miss having babies.

I shared this post at Works for Me Wednesday.

Photo courtesy of thomasrdotrog via flickr

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